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How do you start a budget? These five tips will make budgeting easy

“How do you start a budget?” “How to make your own budget?” “How do you stick to your budget?” If these thoughts have crossed your mind recently, you’re in the right place.

So, how do you start a budget?

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Whether you’re budgeting for a baby, a house, a pet, retirement, or a rainy day fund, it all starts with a commitment to improving your financial fitness.

I know from experience that the structure of budgeting can take some getting used to, so here are my tips for making that transition simple and easy. Follow these five pointers and you’ll be setting up a budget spreadsheet and getting your financial health-kick up and running in no time.

1. Ease into it

So how do you start a budget? Have you ever started a new workout routine and become so sore afterwards that you can’t exercise for a week? That’s a sure sign you’ve overdone it. Money management can be a bit the same – you tighten your belt a notch too far and find that the pinch makes you quit. To be sustainable, you must be flexible and realistic, otherwise, you won’t stick to your budget. If you’ve gone out too hard, back off a bit or look for ways to make your budget more liveable. If you feel lost when it comes to setting up a budget spreadsheet and don’t know where to start, take a look at our budgeting guide.

2. Establish daily, weekly and monthly budget routines

You wouldn’t expect to improve your strength by going to the gym just once a month and the same is true for your finances. Getting your finances into shape demands changing your daily, weekly and monthly money habits. For example, making your lunch every day, menu planning once a week, and setting aside savings from each pay are micro-actions that snowball into amazing long-term results.

3. Find a training partner

You know those days when you don’t feel like exercising but you’ve got to because your friend is expecting you to work out with them and then you go and you actually feel great afterwards? It works the same with budgeting. Partnering up with a friend to get financially fit together means you’ve got double the motivation and twice the staying power. You’re so much more likely to stick to your budget if you have a training partner.

4. Avoid situations that will test you

If you were trying to quit sugar, you wouldn’t walk into a lolly shop. The same goes with budgeting. When you’re trying to save money, it pays to avoid situations where you tend to overspend. Those situations will be different for every person and most people know what their specific triggers are. Some people, for example, may need to avoid shopping centres, while others will want to steer clear of restaurants and bars.

5. Pat yourself on the back

There’s so much to celebrate already. That first step – wondering how to make your own budget and deciding to get financially fit – is the hardest one to take and you’ve already done it. You very likely have some big financial goals on your radar (great!), but don’t forget to add some smaller ones too. You might want to set aside money for a concert ticket or a date night or some new clothes. Go ahead and put it in your budget because small goals are just as important as big ones.

Not a MyBudget client already and wondering how do you start a budget? Call us on 1300 300 922 and fast track your financial goals and live your life free from money worries.

This article has been prepared for information purposes only, and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

All customised budgets and consultations with money experts are subject to MyBudget’s qualification criteria. We recommend that you read and consider our Product Disclosure Statement.

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